In The Monastery Rules Berthe Jansen discusses the position of the monasteries in pre-modern Tibetan Buddhist societies and how that position was informed by the far-reaching relationship of monastic Buddhism with Tibetan society, economy, law, and culture. Jansen focuses her study on monastic guidelines or bca’ yig. The first study of its kind to examine the genre of bca’ yig in detail, the book contains an exploration of parallels of these texts in other Buddhist cultures, their connection to the Vinaya, and their value as sociohistorical source material. The monastic guidelines are witness to certain socioeconomic changes, but they also indicate that the monastery created rules intended to change the monastery in order to preserve it. Jansen argues that the monastic institutions’ influence on society was maintained not merely due to prevailing power-relations, but also because of certain deep-rooted Buddhist beliefs.
“The Monastery Rules provides an invaluable resource for those interested in a richer picture of traditional Tibet and its monastic life. This book will be an important scholarly resource.” GEORGES DREYFUS, Jackson Professor of Religion, Williams College, and author of The Sound of Two Hands Clapping
“This book provides a welcome and much needed contribution to our understanding of Tibetan monasticism. While monastic institutions have long been recognized as hubs of Buddhist life in Tibet, this study provides an extensive and granular exploration of pre-modern Tibetan monasteries as sites of community organization and integration, and as mediators of religious power.” ANDREW QUINTMAN, author of The Yogin and the Madman
BERTHE JANSEN is Professor of Central Asian Studies at the Institute for Indian and Central Asian Studies, Leipzig University.
Jansen, B. 2018. The Monastery Rules: Buddhist Monastic Organization in Pre-Modern Tibet. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.56
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